NOW MISS UNIVERSE HOST SAYS TRUMP STAYED OVERNIGHT IN MOSCOW
Contrary to what has appeared in the Comey memo’s from Trump’s lips that he never stayed over night in Moscow during the Miss Universe pageant despite a preponderance of evidence from social media to flight records, now The Daily Beast reports that “Thomas Roberts, host of that year’s Miss Universe pageant,” was able to confirm “Trump was in Moscow for one full night and at least part of another.” Why lie? Is the fake Russian bullshit president hiding something?
From The Daily Beast.
PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS DECLINES TO RECUSE FROM COHEN PROBE
Bloomberg reports, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided against recusing himself from the investigation into President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, but will consider stepping back from specific questions tied to the probe”.
MANAFORT INTERVIEWED BY FBI TWICE BEFORE JOINING TRUMP CAMP
The Washington Post reports, “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was interviewed by the FBI twice while he was working as a political consultant for a Ukrainian political party – several years before he was named a top adviser to Donald Trump, newly filed court documents revealed.” This is more news trickling out from the same documents “filed late Monday by prosecutors in the office of special counsel Robert Mueller” and it shows “that the FBI had interviewed Manafort in March 2013 and again in July 2014. Manafort’s deputy, Rick Gates, who also held a top role with Trump’s campaign, was interviewed by the FBI in July 2014”. Seems the filing was related to the discovery phase of the trial in part in that “The new court filings indicate that prosecutors provided Manafort with copies of his past interviews to help him prepare for trial”.
From The Washington Post.
DHS OFFICIAL CONFIRMS AGAIN THE RUSSIAN HACK OF ELECTION SYSTEMS
The Hill reports, “A top Department of Homeland Security official said Tuesday that Russian hackers likely targeted more than 21 states before the 2016 election as part of a broader effort to interfere in the vote. Jeanette Manfra, the official, acknowledged that the department only had enough ‘visibility’ to confirm activity targeting 21 states because of sensors in place in the state systems and information provided by the intelligence community.” The Hill notes Manfra’s latest reaffirmation of the Russian hacking of our election systems occurred during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing. We have a homeland with security? It’s not Trumpistan! Correction: we had a homeland in the former USA and the empire has no security. ABC News adds, “Manfra acknowledged Russian hackers likely tried to hack into all 50 states.” But not a single vote was altered because when have you known KGB scum to line up their ducks and leave things to chance?
GRASSLEY TRIES TO INSERT CRACKS INTO MUELLER PROTECTING BILL
POLITICO reports, “The Department of Justice would have to report to Congress on ‘any change made to the specific nature or scope’ of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe under a draft amendment proposed to a bipartisan Senate bill designed to protect him from being fired by President Donald Trump.” Senator Chuck Grassley is proposing the amendment. Word to the wise: whenever anything travels to the Hill that is usually when the leaks to the press start. POLITICO notes Senator Dianne “Feinstein has warned against any attempt to dilute the bill or constrain Mueller, and support from the minority party will be critical to getting the legislation to the Senate floor.” CNN reports that later in the day “Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday she will oppose legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller if an amendment from Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is added to the bill.” CNN adds, “she has three concerns about the amendment Grassley plans to propose at Thursday’s committee markup, and that she would oppose the bill ‘in its entirety’ if the amendment is tacked on,” however, “Feinstein declined to detail her specific concerns Tuesday”. CNN notes, “Feinstein says she is hopeful the amendment will be changed before the markup on Thursday.”
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA WHISTLEBLOWER TESTIFIES ON THE HILL
The AP reports, “House Democrats, frustrated by what they see as GOP inaction and with an eye on midterm elections, on Tuesday held the first of what they hope to be several interviews with witnesses who have not been interrogated in the Republican-led Russia investigations. Democrats on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees interviewed former Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie”. The AP adds, “Wylie’s visit is part of a Democratic attempt to keep congressional focus on Russian meddling in the 2016 election and on whether Trump’s campaign was involved. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee plan to meet with Wylie on Wednesday. Republicans were invited to both meetings but declined to attend,” because the death cult GOP is really not concerned about sovereignty as much as they are looting now that Trumpistan has subsumed the place of the former USA. The AP notes, “It was unclear if there were any new revelations in Tuesday’s closed-door meeting, which lasted less than three hours and was attended by a handful of lawmakers. The Democrats said they would like to hold additional interviews.” The AP adds, “In a joint statement after the Wylie interview, Democrats on the Judiciary and Oversight committees said he raised serious questions about security.”
From the AP.
HANNITY’S $90M PROPERTY EMPIRE SHELL COMPANIES LINKED TO FRAUD
The Guardian reports, “Sean Hannity’s real estate venture bought houses through a property dealer who was involved in a criminal conspiracy to fraudulently obtain foreclosed homes”. The Guardian adds, “In 2012, a shell company linked to the Fox News host bought 11 homes in Georgia that had been purchased by the dealer, Jeff Brock, following foreclosures. Brock transferred the properties to corporate vehicles that sold them on to the Hannity-linked company at a profit. Brock pleaded guilty in 2016 to federal charges of bank fraud and conspiracy for his role in an operation to rig foreclosure auctions between 2007 and 2012. He was sentenced to six months in prison and had to pay more than $166,000 in fines and restitution.” Wow, he would fit right in among the criminal conspiracy that is the Trump regime as Hannity does! The Guardian notes, “US prosecutors said that, during the period in which he was buying the properties, Brock and two co-defendants were running a scheme to rig foreclosure auctions, where people bid to buy homes that have been repossessed by mortgage lenders. The men agreed not to compete on property sales so one could win the auctions with ‘artificially low bids’, according to charging documents. The winning bidder would then give payoffs to the others to reward them for not having competed.”
From The Guardian.
FAKE NGO/GONGO JUDICIAL WATCH GETS RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA DUE
Russian state-run Sputnik reports, “A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the US State Department is seeking information about the Obama administration’s ‘facilitation’ of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s attendance at the 2016 Republican National Convention, the conservative Judicial Watch advocacy group said in a press release on Tuesday.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH has followed Judicial Watch for months because they hew so closely to the classic definition of a GONGO or “government organized non-governmental organization,” e.g. a fake NGO of the sort that is classic in a post-Soviet context. Fake NGOs usefully mimic civil society but ultimately serve the purpose of subverting it; Judicial Watch does nothing but attack the judiciary, call for Mueller to be fired and generally cheerlead for positions held by Trump and his masters in Russia. Since Judicial Watch’s latest FOIA lawsuit specifically concerns Russia, finally our boy who heads it Tom Fitton is getting his due and it’s such an occasion, TRUMPISTAN WATCH has put it in breaking! Russian state-run Sputnik notes, “The lawsuit seeks records about Kislyak’s attendance at the 2016 convention, including communication between the State Department and Russian Embassy about the arrangements and records from the Diplomatic Security Service.” If you have any doubt Judicial Watch is fake and a GONGO, Russian state-run Sputnik adds, “Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, said in the release that the goal of the lawsuit is to help the watchdog group figure out the Obama administration’s role in getting the Russian Ambassador to the Republican convention.” Seriously what is that? Even Russian state-run Sputnik wryly notes what it has on its hands with this story as, “Judicial Watch has been accused on several occasions of not being a government watchdog but, rather, a pro-Trump and pro-conservative advocacy group. The founder of Judicial Watch, Larry Klayman, for years pushed the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was a Muslim communist born in Africa and not a US citizen.”
HIGH PROFILE UKRAINE WORK-TIED SKADDEN LAWYER DEPARTS SILENTLY
Bloomberg Big Law Business reports, “Gregory B. Craig, who served in top counsel positions in both the Clinton and Obama White Houses, has left Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom without explanation. Craig’s office in Washington said he had retired from the firm where he was of counsel. There was no announcement and his information on the Skadden website was removed. The firm had no additional information about his departure, and Craig couldn’t be reached.” So why the hell are you reading about this in TRUMPISTAN WATCH? Well, “It’s not clear if his exit was related, but Craig has been publicly connected to recent uncomfortable episodes for the firm involving work connected with Ukraine.” Bloomberg Big Law Business recalls, “The Justice Department asked Skadden last year to provide information about work it undertook for Paul Manafort, an embattled former campaign manager for President Donald Trump. Justice Department officials sought the Skadden-prepared report used by allies of Manafort’s client, Viktor Yanukovych, then president of Ukraine, to justify the jailing of a political rival.” Bloomberg Big Law Business notes, “Yanukovych’s government later collapsed and he fled to Russia in 2014. Last fall, Craig was identified by the New York Times as the lead Skadden attorney on the Ukraine work.” Of note, “Earlier this year, Alex van der Zwaan, who had been a lawyer in Skadden’s London office, pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors and the FBI about communications involving work performed for the former Ukranian president”. Recall van der Zwaan is also the son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan.
US REGULATORS FINE COMPANY FORMERLY KNOWN AS YAHOO OVER HACK
CNBC reports, “U.S. regulators fined Altaba, the company formerly known as Yahoo!, $35 million on Tuesday to settle charges that kept its massive 2014 cyber security breach a secret from investors for more than two years. The Securities and Exchange Commission‘s case marks the first time it has ever gone after a company for failing to disclose a cyber security breach.” CNBC notes, “Yahoo’s information security team learned just days after the December 2014 breach that Russian hackers had stolen the company’s ‘crown jewels,’ including email addresses, encrypted passwords and security questions, the SEC said in a statement. Despite becoming aware of the breach and having it reported to Yahoo’s senior management and legal department, the company failed to properly investigate and did not disclose it to the public until more than two years later, when it was in the process of being acquired by Verizon Communication Inc, the regulator said.” CNBC notes, “The U.S. Justice Department announced charges last year against four men, including two officers in Russia’s Federal Security Service, for their roles in the theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts,” and, “Karim Baratov, a Canadian citizen born in Kazakhstan, pleaded guilty late last year to charges related to helping Russian intelligence agents”.
JUDGE INTERCEDES + DELAYS HACKER KARIM BARATOV SENTENCING
The Daily Beast reports, “in what was supposed to be [hacker Karim] Baratov’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said he was worried that the government was asking for an unusually long sentence because one of Baratov’s many clients turned out to be a Russian intelligence officer accused in a massive 2014 data breach at Yahoo that impacted 500 million users.” The Daily Beast adds, “The government sought a sentence of seven years, 10 months in prison, while the defense asked for about half that. Instead Chhabria moved the sentencing to May 29 to allow the judge to examine sentences in other hacking cases, and allow time for both sides to file additional briefs.” The Daily Beast notes, “the government and Baratov’s defense team agree that the hacker did not know that the commissions were coming from the Russian government,” but nobody knows if that knowledge would have made a difference. Remember also: this is a hell of a lot more fair of a shake than the kid would ever get in Russia.
From The Daily Beast.
RUSSIA CLAIMS IT HAS A TOMAHAWK MISSILE + WILL COPY IT
CNBC reports, “Russia has gotten its hands on an U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile and it’s going to study it to improve its own weapon systems, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.” What more proof do you need that Russian greatness is built on technology theft and imitation, as per Cold War standard operating procedure of the evil pseudo empire? Citing a report in Russian state-run Tass, CNBC adds, “An official within Russia’s ministry said that an unexploded Tomahawk cruise missile and one high accuracy air-launched missile that the U.S. and its allies used in their last airstrike in Syria on April 14 has been brought to Moscow”. CNBC notes, “The chief of the Russian General Staff’s main operations directorate, Colonel-General Sergey Rudskoy, told a news briefing on Wednesday that Russian military specialists were already studying the missiles.”
US SANCTIONS HALTING RUSSIAN ARMS SALES TO US ALLIES IN ASIA
Reuters reports, “U.S. sanctions on Russian military exports have put the brakes on a $6 billion deal with India and may derail the arms purchases of other U.S. allies around Asia, experts say.” India “wants to buy five S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems that the country’s military sees as a game changer”. Reuters adds, “The deal, which Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck as part of an inter-government agreement in 2016, has run headlong into the U.S. sanctions law, two officials in Delhi said. Indonesia and Vietnam also buy weapons from Russia while being regional partners of the United States. Jakarta closed a $1.14 billion pact for Sukhoi fighters recently, while Vietnam is seeking more jet fighter-bombers from Russia.” However, “Indonesia, meanwhile, said the delivery of the first couple of Sukhoi Su-35 jets out of a total of 11 is on track for this year.” Reuters notes, “The United States has emerged as India’s No. 2 weapons supplier, closing $15 billion worth of deals over the last decade. Now Lockheed Martin and Boeing are leading the race to provide India with a fleet of new fighter-bombers”.
RUSSIAN SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS NAVALNY CONVICTION
The Moscow Times reports, “Russia’s Supreme Court Panel has upheld opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother’s fraud convictions despite a European court ruling that their right to a fair trial had been violated. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said last year that Russia had violated Alexei and Oleg Navalny’s rights in the 2014 embezzlement case by using an extended interpretation of criminal law to sentence them.” The case was used to bar Alexey Navalny from running for president and resulted in a prison term for Oleg.
From The Moscow Times.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
STATE DINNER SHOWCASES HOW RACISM PROTECTS PRIVILEGE
POLITICO reports, “Gone were the musicians and actors, the chefs and journalists. In, for President Donald Trump’s first state dinner, were businesspeople — lots and lots of them. There was Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire chief of Blackstone and Trump confidant, and David Rubenstein, the Carlyle Group co-founder and Washington philanthropist. Luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault was in attendance, as were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, KKR co-founder Henry Kravis, 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Goldman Sachs Executive Vice President John F.W. Rogers.” It is as if money loves our fake Russian bullshit president and is willing to ignore his racism because it protects their privilege. Thank you all for normalizing! Remember: Trump might have had Russian help but he was created by our system, promoted through it and ultimately normalized by it. This is our very big problem. Oh what about draining the swamp? That was only done to hasten the search for bottom feeders. Well here they are, dining with the fake Russian president!
FEDERAL JUDGE SHOOTS DOWN TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION FASCISM
The Washington Post reports, “A D.C. federal judge has delivered the toughest blow yet to Trump administration efforts to end deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants, ordering the government to continue the Obama-era program and — for the first time since announcing it would end — reopen it to new applicants. U.S. District Judge John D. Bates on Tuesday called the government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program ‘virtually unexplained’ and therefore ‘unlawful.’” Wait it’s unlawful for the fake Russian bullshit president to treat young immigrant lives, hopes, dreams and aspirations as something he can toy with to show what a big strong powerful man he is? Is this not the former USA where nothing matters but spectacle and human cruelty and indifference to humanity is a marker of authority? The Washington Post notes, “Bates is the third judge to rule against Trump administration attempts to rescind DACA, which provides two-year, renewable work permits and deportation protections for about 690,000 ‘dreamers,’ undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children.” The Washington Post adds, “the ruling by Bates, an appointee of President George W. Bush, is far more expansive: If the government does not come up with a better explanation within 90 days, he will rescind the government memo that terminated the program and require Homeland Security to enroll new applicants, as well. Thousands could be eligible to apply.” How many caravans is that, Secretary Nielsen? Looks like they are not dissipating at all. Sad!
From The Washington Post.
JOHN BOLTON’S DEPUTY ALREADY CLASHED WITH THE PENTAGON
Foreign Policy reports, “National Security Advisor John Bolton’s choice for his deputy passes the loyalty litmus test for President Donald Trump, but it could signal yet more headwind for Defense Secretary James Mattis. Last Friday, Bolton named Mira Ricardel, currently the undersecretary of commerce for export administration and a former Boeing executive, as deputy national security advisor.” Her allegiance “Having worked on the president’s 2016 campaign and helped the White House transition team after the election,” means, “Ricardel comes with unassailable credentials as a Trump supporter.” Thank god, if she was anything less we would worry Bolton was not in fact “the devil incarnate”! Also interesting use of the word “unassailable,” as no one who is not totally fascist should work under Bolton. Foreign Policy adds, “the Pentagon chief butted heads with Ricardel early in the administration,” as, “when Ricardel oversaw Pentagon personnel during the transition, she clashed with Mattis and his aides over who should be named to senior civilian jobs”. And for all of you #MeToo fans out there, remember for the most part it is women who often undercut other professional women as Ricardel “helped shoot down Mattis’s initial picks for top jobs at the Pentagon, including Anne Patterson, a retired senior diplomat who served as ambassador to Pakistan and Egypt, for undersecretary of defense for policy, the No. 3 position at the Defense Department. Mattis also ended up abandoning plans to name Michèle Flournoy, who served in the Pentagon during President Barack Obama’s administration, as deputy defense secretary.” Both Patterson and Flournoy are imminently qualified and well known public servants and people TRUMPISTAN WATCH has actually heard of back when we had a country that was sovereign and our own; the same cannot be said for the infinitely less accomplished Ricardel, who seems like a complete piece of work.
From Foreign Policy.
TRUMP’S VA SECRETARY NOMINEE BESIEGED BY TRUMPIAN ACCUSATIONS
The Washington Post reports, “The White House rallied around Ronny L. Jackson’s nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs late Tuesday as the president’s doctor was besieged by accusations that he improperly dispensed drugs, created a hostile workplace and became intoxicated on duty.” What about him now makes him inappropriate exactly for a role in the regime? His malfeasance does not extend to wholesale theft from the state and racketeering? Try harder Ronny! Of course, “The administration’s decision to fight on in defense of the nomination came hours after President Trump publicly suggested that Jackson should consider pulling out because of the ‘abuse’ he was facing. But by late afternoon, Trump had huddled with Jackson, and White House aides vowed to fight the charges.” By now Trump has been unpresidenting for 14 months, he knows vile unqualified lackey scum when he sees it – and he likes it! The Washington Post adds, “Jackson’s worsening problems flared into public view Tuesday when lawmakers nixed his confirmation hearing scheduled for Wednesday.” According to The Washington Post, Senator Jon Tester, the Senate committee on veteran’s affairs, told NPR, “the committee had heard complaints from more than 20 current and former military members that Jackson had improperly dispensed drugs, become intoxicated on professional trips and belittled staff members.” Again – he is perfect for the regime! He just needs to up his grifting game and develop a predilection for money laundering and living the high life on us, the American taxpayer, and he will really fit in!
From The Washington Post.
INTERIOR SECRETARY ZINKE HAD A BIRTHER ON SUPER PAC BOARD
CNN reports, “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke put a right-wing commentator who has promoted numerous conspiracy theories on the board of his super PAC in 2012. The move was part of Zinke’s longtime association with retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, a promoter of the birther conspiracy theory, which falsely alleges former President Barack Obama is not a natural born US citizen. In 2010, Vallely said that he firmly believed Obama ‘is a Muslim in nature’ and said there was ‘no proof that I’ve seen that he was born in Honolulu.’” Note how Muslim is being used in a way that is a stand in for X with X being the value of something wholly disagreeable to a racist piece of shit like Vallely. CNN notes that during “Vallely’s appearance on Zinke’s radio show in April 2013,” Vallely, “brought up a false conspiracy theory that a Saudi national was involved in the Boston Marathon bombing. In that appearance, Zinke called Vallely a ‘great patriot.’” Funny use of that word as racist piece of shit is not the definition. CNN adds, “When Zinke launched his veterans-oriented, anti-Obama super PAC Special Operations for America in July 2012, Vallely was quoted in the press release and was listed as one of six members of the board. Zinke’s super PAC also linked to an article by Vallely in which he wrote that a ‘civil uprising’ was not ‘out of the question’ to stop Obama who was facilitating the rise of ‘radical Islam, the caliphate, and Jihad — the slow infiltration and dismantling of our American institutions’ either ‘willfully, or due to sheer naiveté.’ On the group’s website, the article is described as ‘outstanding.’” Still not convinced Vallely is racist trash and because he is a white man, we must give him infinite benefit of the doubt, but never Obama as “Vallely has also called for ‘citizens arrests’ of Obama and members of his administration with uprisings to remove Obama similar to the Egyptian revolution. He also shared a conspiracy theory that Obama made a pro-ISIS hand gesture.” But what’s this got to do with Zinke? CNN notes the two have known each other for 10 years and “In 2015, following his election to Congress, Zinke attended multiple events with Vallely in Washington, DC, according to pictures posted online that were first uncovered by the liberal Montana politics blog The Montana Post in 2015. As recently as April 2017, Vallely appeared at an event in support of Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, when he wrote on Facebook he was also with Zinke and Donald Trump Jr. who campaigned for Gianforte that day.” But Obama is the scary one?
ARMENIA EVENTS MAY FRIGHTEN PUTIN MORE THAN MAIDAN
The Jamestown Foundation reports, “The popular mass protests that forced former Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan to resign as the newly installed prime minister of that country—a tactic he copied from Vladimir Putin (albeit with an added change to the constitution) to keep himself in power (see EDM, April 23)—may frighten the Kremlin leader even more than the previous Ukrainian Maidans.” The Jamestown Foundation notes, “The events in Armenia show that its people want both the spirit as well as the letter of the country’s democratic procedures followed; the protesters railed against their elites’ attempts to use elections and constitutional reforms to solidify and sharply expand their rule,” addng, “the Armenians who came out into the street to demand Sargsyan go were willing to act even as their country continues to face existential national security threats from its neighbors.” While the Jamestown Foundation notes, “Russians are unlikely to go out into the streets any time soon or in equally massive numbers,” however, “the most disconcerting aspect of the Armenian events, as far as President Putin is concerned, is the way those events actually unfolded, which appear to have particular relevance for him and his rule.” The Jamestown Foundation adds, “Sargsyan decided to leave office rather than fight not because hundreds of thousands of Armenians took part in public demonstrations, but because members of the Armenian military wholly went over to the opposition instead of defending him,” and, “Sargsyan implicitly acknowledged as much when he said, in his resignation announcement, that he had other options at his disposal but decided not to use them. Intriguingly, the potential role of the Armenian military in Armenian politics was something Russian commentators were talking about even before the quondam prime minister resigned”. The Jamestown Foundation notes, “Because of the threat the Armenian model potentially represents to his own power, Putin is likely to move to stir up more conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
From The Jamestown Foundation.
WHAT SIGNALS DID RUSSIA RECEIVE FROM RUSAL SANCTIONS
Bloomberg reports, “The softening of U.S. sanctions against Russian aluminum producer Rusal sends at least two important signals to investors and to official Moscow. One is that the Trump administration has little understanding of the impact of its moves before it makes them. The other is that it doesn’t want to impose sanctions that will do a lot of collateral damage outside Russia.”
RUSSIA’S GAS PIPELINES COME WITH HYBRID WAR RISK
The Jamestown Foundation reports, “Undoubtedly, Russia’s planned construction of new offshore natural gas pipelines, namely Nord Stream Two and Turk Stream, represents an important element in Moscow’s struggle for domination of the European gas market,” but, “the development and launch of these pipelines also carries ‘hybrid’-style threats for several European states”. The Jamestown Foundation adds, “If the plans for Nord Stream Two and Turk Stream are implemented, Gazprom will have the opportunity to significantly reduce the volume of gas transit through Ukraine as early as 2020. Moscow does not hide such plans: several weeks ago, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller himself noted that following the construction of the two offshore pipelines, only about 10–15 bcm of Russian gas would continue to be pumped annually,” through Ukraine (compared to 93.5 bcm in 2017). If built, “The bypass routes would result in an estimated 2–3 percent drop in Ukrainian GDP, equal to about $3.5 billion, due to the drastic decline in transit revenues.” Of course, “the launch of the Nord Stream Two and Turk Stream would affect countries beyond Ukraine by exacerbating and widening the political splits within Europe.” The Jamestown Foundation notes, “the decision to launch Turk Stream may have a strongly destabilizing impact on the situation in the Balkans”. The Jamestown Foundation adds, “Europe will become more dependent on Russia after the launch of both new offshore gas pipelines and raise the risks of coming under threat from possible hybrid actions by Moscow.” The situation to stop these pipelines is urgent as “Nord Stream Two and Turk Stream are supposed to be commissioned in 2019”.
From The Jamestown Foundation.
FARABOOK’S CORPORATE LIES ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS
Fast Company reports, “Facebook is launching the largest brand marketing campaign in company history,” and, “The company is hoping it’ll show how it’s taking a broader view of its responsibilities, that it takes those responsibilities seriously, and is working to improve Facebook.” Ads on mass transit and all over downtown Chicago for weeks now proclaim spam and clickbait are not your friends which is hilarious because we knew this but it was however FARAbook’s revenue stream in addition to selling its proto-Stasi data to advertisers and proxies for the Russian government. Maybe it’s FARAbook that needs the convincing, not us? We know what FARAbook is: a well designed and built technology with executives who are greedy and indifferent to all but their personal wealth and perhaps what their food looks like on Instagram. Fast Company describes the new spot as “a pretty damn good ad,” but notes, “The company punted on the opportunity to take any real responsibility for its actions.” That is because the indifferent rich do not believe such things concern them in the former USA. Why should they? They are not made to truly feel as if there are such things.
From Fast Company.
ICYMI THIS IS RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA
NBC News reports, “On most days, ICYMI, a millennial-focused channel on YouTube, looks like a standard, BuzzFeed-style digital media knockoff. There is, however, one distinct difference between ICYMI’s videos and any other two-minute news blast on YouTube: Host Polly Boiko’s monologues are part of Russia Today, the English-language media company known as RT and backed by the Russian government.” NBC News adds, “registration information of ICYMI’s website” happens to list “the same entity as the registration for RT’s website.” NBC News notes, “in between those fun videos about internet oddities, the channel publishes diatribes from Boiko about international scandals, pushing the same talking points as those found on other Russia-backed channels such as Russia Today.” NBC News adds, “ICYMI showcases the increasing complexity of Russia’s efforts to spread its talking points across the internet, often in ways that make it nearly impossible to identify such channels as being backed by a foreign country.” NBC News notes, “ICYMI launched on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in January, and its most recent Facebook video about Skripal’s poisoning drew more than 135,000 views in five days.” Boiko is “a former RT reporter,” but what they mean is propagandist. Another such channel, “In the Now, an imitation of popular startup NowThis News that has its own section of RT.com, stripped all of its RT branding from its channels in 2016. It also registered its website, InTheNow.Media, using RT’s domain registration address in 2016.”
From NBC News.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
STUDENTS, RETURN TO RUSSIA WHERE YOU CAN JUST BRIBE YOUR PROFS
Voice of America reports, “Russia has launched a campaign urging about 60,000 of its citizens studying abroad to return home. The marketing campaign is responding to ‘Russophobic attitudes’ toward its citizens and students living abroad”. As youth are the most prone to wanting to live freely and have the government off their back and may actually want to learn instead of merely pay bribes for their grades, the effects of such marketing will only work on the homesick, no doubt. In classic Soviet fashion that is indifferent to actual reality and what people feel in their hearts, Voice of America adds, “Schools across Russia are ready to accept Russians back to continue their studies at home, said Genri Sardarian, head of the department of management and politics at Moscow’s MGIMO University.” Maybe they will arrive by caravan?
From Voice of America.
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